Monday, August 12, 2013
Thank you, Amy, for the cute pic of myself!
On Friday I got to do something that I've only done one other time since I've lived in Oregon, which is visit a u-pick farm. What's a u-pick farm, you ask? Well, it's a farm where you get to go pick all the fruits, vegetables, and flowers you want and it's cheaper that way because you're doing the work yourself! I coerced Amy to go with me right when Sauvie Island Farms opened because I wanted to get out there and get pickin' before the sun got super hot. Luckily she was game (after a yummy coffee) and we had a great time!
My main goal was to pick a bunch of blueberries, but I was open to getting other fruits or berries, as well. Jonathan makes smoothies every morning and fruit really adds up in cost! Since it's something we use daily I wanted to stock up. Blueberries, marionberries (a kind of blackberry that only grows in Oregon), and blackberries at the farm were only $2 a pound! We also ended up getting broccoli ($1/lb), kale ($3/lb), beets (don't remember price), corn on the cob (25 cents an ear), and more! We spent four hours at the farm and picked.....
wait for it.....
35lbs of berries!
After getting home I began the task of cleaning and processing everything. This has taken a few days, because it takes time to freeze things in batches. You have to freeze the blackberries and broccoli on cookie sheets and then transfer them into bags or containers because otherwise you end up with a large chunk of plant matter frozen together and it's hard to get it out later for use. Also, vegetables contain an enzyme that makes the plant mushy if you don't blanch them before you freeze, so I've had to do the corn and broccoli in small batches because there is only so much room in our freezer. But Amy and I had a great time and I'm happy to save money and do something fun with my friend!
Back at home I processed the berries first since they are the most delicate. Sunday afternoon I started in on the broccoli. I had to trim all of it and clean it. I ended up only being able to blanch and freeze one bowl's worth, so I'll have to do the rest later.
This is what our freezer is currently looking like. It's getting more and more filled and soon will be lined with containers full of fruit and vegetables and in a few days I'll be stocking up on chickens and those will be in the freezer as well!
Everything I bought ended up costing $66, which sounds like a lot until you think about how much this can all cost at the grocery store. Blueberries are usually $4-6 per pound, broccoli is usually a couple bucks, and those are foods we eat quite a bit. I have bought several 2lb bags of blackberries at New Seasons and Whole Foods that are in the $9-10 range! I'm hoping to go get more fruits and veggies later but will have to see how full our freezer is first.
Have you ever done a u-pick farm? Would you ever do one?